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PSYA01 ch 1 notes.docx

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Steve Joordens

CHAPTER 1: The Science of Psychology
 Psychology - the scientific study of the causes of behavior; also, the application of the findings of psychological research to the solution of problems - primary emphasis is on discovering and explaining the causes of behavior - ultimate goal of psychology is to understand human behaviour - to provide an explanation of behaviour, we must first describe it, then discover the 
causes of behaviour 
Casual Events - an event that causes another event to occur 
- human behaviour is the root of many of the worlds problems (drug addiction, crime, etc) 
Physiological Psychology - the branch of psychology that studies physiological basis of behaviour - study all behavioural phenomena that can be observed in non- human animals - they use the non-human animals as models that help us understand the casual events 
of human behaviour - they discovered that all drugs having the potential for addiction is involved in 
pleasurable reaction (warmth, food, sexual contact) 
 Comparative Psychology - the branch of psychology that studies the behaviours of a variety of organisms in an attempt to understand the adaptive and functional significance of the behaviours and their relation to evolution 
 Behaviour Analysis - branch of psychology that studies the effect of the environment on behaviour - primarily the effects of the consequences of behaviours on the behaviours themselves 
 Behaviour Genetics - the branch of psychology that studies the role of genetics in behaviour
- no two brains are the same so no two people will react the same in a situation 
 Cognitive Psychology - branch of psychology that studies complex behaviours and mental processes such as perception, attention, learning and memory, verbal behaviour, problem solving
- helps with therapy for drug addiction 
 Cognitive Neuroscience - the branch of psychology that attempts to understand cognitive psychological functions by studying the brain mechanisms that are responsible for them
- studies the effects of alcohol on the brain for pregnant women etc
- studies the brain of people affected by stroke Developmental Psychology - branch of psychology that studies the changes in behavioural, perceptual, and cognitive capacities of organisms as a function of age and experience Social Psychology - the branch of psychology devoted to the study of the effects people have on each other’s behaviour Personality Psychology - branch of psychology that attempts to categorize and understand the causes of individual differences in patterns of behaviour Evolutionary Psychology - branch of psychology that explains behaviour in terms of adaptive advantages that specific behaviours provided during the evolution of a species. Evolutionary psychologists use natural selection as a guiding principle Cross-Cultural Psychology - the branch of psychology that studies the effects of culture on behaviour
- different cultures developed different strategies for adapting to their environments(laws, religion, myths, ethics) Clinical Psychology - branch of psychology devoted to the investigation and treatment of abnormal behaviour and psychological disorders Animism - the belief that all animals and moving objects possess spirits providing their motive force Rene Descartes believed that the world was a purely mechanical entity, and ran without divine interference - but he also believed that a mind set humans apart from all others, and the mind was not part of the natural world - he thus believed in dualism - he believed that the mind and physical housing body did have a connection, which is 
vital to all of psychology now - the connection occurred in the pineal gland of the brain - he believed that the body worked hydraulically like the moving statues 
Dualism - the philosophical belief that reality consists of mind and matter 
Model - a relatively simple system that works on known principles and is able to do at least some of the things that a more complex system can do 
Empiricism - philosophical view that all knowledge is obtained through the senses John Locke believed in this, said that nothing was innate, pursuit of truth through observation, empiricism & rational Berkley believed it as well, but said we start off with basic observations and they grow 
to be more complex James Mill believed in materialism - he agreed with Descartes but only difference was that he said even the mind was composed of matter too Materialism - a philosophical belief that reality can be known only through an understanding of the physical world, of which the mind is a part - Descartes hydraulic theory was denied by Luigi Galvani, who proved that muscular contractions could be caused by electrical current (frog legs dance) - Johannes Muller tested electric waves to different parts of the brain 
Doctrine of Specific Nerve Energies - Mullers observation that different nerve fibres convey specific information from one part of the body to the brain or from the brain to one part of the body 
- messages are sent over different channels (distinguishes between sight, smell)
- concluded that different sections of the brain have different purposes
- Pierre Flourens tested surgically on animals, created experimental ablation
- he claimed to discover the parts of the brain responsible for heart rate, breathing etc 
Experimental Ablation - the removal or destruction of a portion of the brain of an experimental animal for the purpose of studying the functions of that region - Paul Broca did an autopsy on the brain of a man who died from a stroke - he noticed the stroke damaged the left side of the brain, so he concluded that is 
responsible for speech BROCA’S BRAIN - Gustav Fritsch and Eduard Hitzig, 1870, “mapped” functions of the brain through electrical stimulation, gave answers that experimental abalation could not, shocks on celebral cortex moved different parts of body - Wilder Penfield – would be able to show that highly specific sensory experiences & memories could be mapped too - Hermann von Helmholtz (1821-1894) discovered that impulses through nerves was slower than 
currents, and was 27m/s , mental phenomena could be explained by physiological means, disregarded Muller’s belief that mind was immaterial, knew that there was a way to prove, slowness of impulses = nerve impulse more complex than electrical current, tried to measure speed of reaction to a person’s stimulus but he also recognized that the physical stimulus in people varied, so he could not make 
proper solid conclusions like science ; since velocity of nerve impulses & reaction to stimuli could be measured, people figured so could mental events, one could see what’s going on in human brain thus his research impt in setting stage for psychology
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